Complete Maserati Biturbo lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1984 Maserati Biturbo - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1984 - 1994 Maserati Biturbo SedanBiturbo8 Trims 188 to 247 Hp 1984 Maserati Biturbo Spyder - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1985 - 1994 Maserati Biturbo CabrioletBiturbo Spyder2 Trims 184 to 224 Hp 1981 Maserati Biturbo Coupe - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1981 - 1988 Maserati Biturbo CoupeBiturbo Coupe4 Trims 184 to 205 Hp

The Maserati Biturbo was a front-engine grand tourer sports car available from 1982 to 1994. While many vehicles shared elements and might be referred to as a Biturbo, the original design was a two-door five-seater coupe under the model code Tipo AM331. Even just this AM331 Maserati Biturbo went through more model names that one can imagine. But primarily, there were two different variants continually available throughout the years: one with an engine 2.0L for the Italian market and another with a larger engine for export.

Maserati Biturbo Design and Popularity

Pierangelo Andreani, Chief of Centro Stile Maserati, designed the Biturbo using some tips from the Quattroporte III from Italdesign’s Giugiaro. It came at a time when Maserati needed to produce a cost-effective mass-production vehicle to keep the brand alive. The design proved to be in high demand and just what the company needed. It pushed the Maserati name away from the brink of bankruptcy and into mainstream sales. The Biturbo sold around 40,000 units total. Unfortunately, it also received some not-so-enthusiastic awards, including the Time’s 2007 award for the worst car of 1984. What may have been attractive at first, faded away in hindsight. 

Engine Specifications and Performance

Regardless of current opinion, the Maserati Biturbo holds a place in automotive history as the first production vehicle to use a twin-turbocharged engine. There were two main engine sizes used for the Biturbo. One for the Italian market to keep the displacement under the 2.0L mark, thereby avoid a hefty 38% tax, and another for the export market without the restriction. The 2.0L V6 engine produced 180 PS initially. The original Biturbo design was updated in 1983 with the Biturbo S for the Italian market only. It increased turbo boost and provided twin intercoolers and two NACA ducts, boosting power up to 205 PS. The export version, referred to as a Biturbo 2500 or Biturbo E, started in 1983 off with a 2.5L V6 engine rated at 185 horsepower and 208 lb ft of torque, with a single Weber carb.

Introduction of Fuel Injection

Fuel injection was introduced in 1986, marking a major change for the somewhat temperamental earlier engine designs. A Weber-Marelli design was utilized and increased performance figures across the Biturbo models. Some report a slight loss in throttle response. These models received a new moniker to indicate fuel injection, adding an i to the end of the model name. The most powerful variant of the 2.0L models came in 1988, known as the 2.24v. It had a 4-valve per cylinder engine and added a catalytic converter. This model replaced the Biturbo Si for the Italian market. A 1991 racing version of this model (2.24v) increased power output to 283 horsepower and was later expanded beyond Italy to other European countries. It was also lowered, had adjustable shock absorbers, and a 5-speed Getrag transmission paired with a limited-slip differential. In 1989, the engine size of the export version (Biturbo E) increased to a 2.8L V6 with 225 horsepower and 246 lb ft of torque for the North American market. 

Exterior Updates and Separate Biturbo Models

Exterior changes occurred between 1987 and 1989, resulting in rounder design features on the hood, grille, mirrors, and entire body lines. 15 inch alloy wheels on 5-lug hubs were added, along with some models receiving wraparound bumpers. A 1991 exterior design update included an all-around aerodynamic increase through a new rear spoiler, unique front spoiler hiding the wipers at the base of the windshield, and side skirts flanking the entire vehicle. 16 inch wheels and two-element headlights were also added. The Biturbo Spyder (Tipo AM333) was produced in 1987, but was quite different than the original Biturbo. It featured a longer chassis but kept the two-seat configuration. Another separate model, the Maserati 228 (Tipo 334) used the Biturbo chassis, but was a more luxurious offering built on a longer wheelbase.